Complaints Procedure

About complaints

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we have provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure below. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case. Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving a final response to your complaint

and

  • No more than six years from the date of act/omission; or
  • No more than three years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint.

If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, please contact them.

legalombudsman.org.uk

0300 555 0333 between 9am and 5pm

enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ

Complaints Procedure: how to make a complaint

We take seriously any expression of dissatisfaction by any of our clients.  We are committed to dealing with any complaints we receive promptly and effectively.  It is important to us not only to resolve any problems as soon as they arise, but also to take whatever action is appropriate to avoid such problems arising again in the future.

This leaflet sets out what you should do if you are dissatisfied with or wish to complain about any aspect of our service to you.  It also tells you how we will deal with your complaint.

A         Making a complaint

  1. In the first instance you should raise any queries or concerns you have with the person with whom you have normally been dealing.  If that does not resolve the problem or you would prefer not to speak to that person, then you should contact our Client Care Partner, Chris Pease.
  2. If your complaint relates to the work of our Client Care Partner, then please contact Richard Gvero, who will then act as Client Care Partner in relation to your particular complaint.
  3. It is helpful if you are able to set out your complaint in writing marking your envelope as private and confidential for the attention of the Client Care Partner.  If, however, you prefer, your complaint can be made face to face, by telephone, by fax or by email, using the numbers and address below.
  4. If you choose to contact our Client Care Partner by telephone, fax of email, you will appreciate that he may not be available to respond instantly but will do so at the very first opportunity.  We aim to acknowledge all complaints within a maximum of three working days.  If our Client Care Partner will not for any reason be available within such a period, then your complaint will be referred to Richard Gvero or, failing that, the most senior partner who is available to acknowledge your complaint without delay.
  5. If you feel the nature of your complaint requires attention immediately, then please telephone during our normal office hours and ask to speak to our Client Care Partner or, failing that, the most senior partner available.  There will always be at least one partner who will be able to respond to your call the same day and usually within one hour or less.

B         How we will deal with your complaint

1          Having acknowledged receipt in writing, our Client Care Partner will fully investigate all aspects of your complaint.  This investigation will involve:

  • reviewing the contents of our file relating to any work carried or being carried out for you;
  • discussing the circumstances giving rise to your complaint with all relevant members of the firm;
  • asking you to clarify any aspects of your complaint which are not entirely clear.

           2          This stage will be completed as quickly as possible and we will provide you with a full response in writing within not more than 14 days, unless there is a good reason why we cannot do so within that timescale, in which case we will explain the reason to you in writing and confirm how long we estimate it will be before we can provide you with a full response.

3          In our response we will tell you the results of our investigation and what steps we have taken or propose to take to remedy the cause of your complaint.  If the cause cannot be remedied immediately, we will tell you how long we estimate it will take to remedy.  If we do not agree that you have a reasonable cause for complaint, we will explain why.

4          If there is a problem which cannot be remedied by us, or in any case if it is appropriate, we will offer you compensation.  This may take the form of an immediate payment to you or a reduction in our fees.

C         Steps open to you if we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction

1          You should contact the Legal Ombudsman who can be contacted at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ or on 0300 555 0333 who may be able to deal with your complaint. Their email address is enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk and their website address is www.legalombudsman.org.uk.  Please note that you must refer your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months from receiving a detailed response from us to your complaint unless it takes us more than eight weeks to resolve the complaint in which case you may refer it to the Legal Ombudsman without waiting for our response.

2          If your complaint relates to a bill or account which you have received from us, then depending on the nature of the work we have carried out, you may have a right to ask a court to assess our costs under Part III of the Solicitors Act 1974.  Every bill or account we send out tells you if this option is potentially available to you in relation to that particular bill or account.

             3          If you consider we may have been negligent in the advice we have given you or the way in which we have carried out work                               for you, then you should seek independent legal advice.